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Pre-Conference Events

12th Annual Midwest Women's Herbal Conference
"Germinating Regenerative Wisdom"
Featuring Keynote Speakers:

Robin Rose Bennett, Elena Terry, Rev. Judith Laxer
and Opening & Closing Ceremonies led by Kaitlin Ilya Wolf 
May 26-28, 2023 • Almond, WI
Sign up for a Pre-Conference 3-day immersion, a 2-day intensive, or 1-day 3-hour  workshop! Participants will complete all pre-conference events before the main conference begins.

Pre-Conference 2-day & 3-day Immersions
Multi-day workshops that offer an incredible opportunity to take a deep dive into a specific topic in small groups with amazing teachers!

Pre-Conference 3-hour Workshops
These workshops offer attendees the chance to deepen and expand their skills and knowledge in these 3 hour classes happening Thursday and Friday.
Tropical Leaves

Pre-Conference 3-day IMMERSIONS


Tuesday, May 23 - Thursday, May 25


Celtic Herbcraft of the Wise: a Tradition and Method of Healing Practice with Heather Nic an Fhleisdeir

In this three day immersion we’ll dive deep, weaving wellness and healing through relationships between us, and our Nature kin. In addition to physical medicine, we’ll engage Nature on a personal, mystical, sacred energetic level. These old ways understand that not all illness and disease begin in the body, and so we’ll explore the source of the beginning of health imbalances. Quietly, this culturally Celtic healing tradition continues to this day. Will you join us?

You will:

  • Learn from illuminated lectures, story weaving, creating, and direct experience.

  • Discover the common, cherished, and useful herbs, trees and foods, fire, water, and stones. 

  • Learn animal symbology and insect observations of the tradition. 

  • Make: a cordial, oxymel and acetomel, infused honey, infused vinegar, steams, salt soaks, stone amulets, smoking blends, incense, and more!

  • Explore the neurobiological consciousness of all things in a form of animism that encompasses science and tradition in a working together approach.

  • Experience the structure and flow of this tradition and attain new skills in bonding with Nature, making cures and living well.


Evening Program:

Mending Circle: Healing Ancestral Trauma as Women and Healers:

In the liminal space of the blue hour of the evening, we’ll explore enchantment, walk between Worlds together, rekindle and mend our connections to other realms and to healing.


Register here.

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Tuesday, May 23 - Thursday, May 25


Fermentation Camp with Linda Conroy!










Traditional foods were consumed throughout history before the modernization and industrialization of the food supply and still are today. These foods are not only free from additives, chemicals, and many other things we find in our food today, but are also exceptionally nourishing. Find your footing and confidence in the ever-giving art of fermentation with Linda Conroy of Moonwise Herbs in this 3-day fermentation camp! With over 3 decades of experience, a fermentation residency with internationally acclaimed fermentation expert Sandor Katz as well as expertise in incorporating wild foods and ferments into your diet for optimal health, Linda will help you learn how to support yourself, your family and your gut with these delicious traditional foods.
This special 3-day immersion will include:

  • Lectures about the history and science of fermentation, its benefits on the digestive system, and the never-ending possibilities and practices of fermentation. 

  • Demonstrations of some favorite nourishing ferments such as sauerkraut, sourdough bread, herbal soda, koji, miso, tempeh, cultured milk, cheese curds and so much more! 

  • A tasting component each day with many samples provided that will allow you to dive deeper with your senses into this fermentation journey. 

  • A hands-on component each day that will allow you to take home cultures and/or food that we prepare in class.

  •  A recipe booklet written by the instructor, to take home for future experimentation.

  •  Knowledge and demonstrations of how to incorporate wild food and herbs into ferments for optimal health and digestion.

  • Evening activities that will include films and/or video interviews with other fermentation experts.

This program is for those new to fermentation as well as those who want to refine their skills. Everyone will walk away with confidence as well as cultures to expand their cultured food journey at home. Those who complete this program will receive a certificate of completion, acknowledging what topics were covered. Register here.

Tropical Leaves

Pre-Conference 2-day Immersions

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Wednesday May 24 & Thursday May 25 | 9am-5pm

Reproductive Sovereignty Intensive with Mary Lou Singleton and Kate Ater

Imagine a world where women's health is in women's hands. Visualize a culture where we do not need to ask permission from medical authorities or the government to control our own fertility and reproduction. This world is possible. Come help create it. Taught by two long-time reproductive sovereignty activists, this intensive will give you the foundation to control your own reproductive destiny. We will honor our ancestors as we learn the radical history of the reproductive sovereignty movement. Following the map left by these brave women, we will commit to understanding our bodies and claiming authority in our own lives.


You will learn:

  • The anatomy and physiology of the female reproductive system and the essentials of fertility awareness

  • The radical history of the woman-led abortion rights movement

  • Herbal allies for fertility management

  • A basic understanding of Chinese medicine and how it can be used to assist in releasing early pregnancy. You will have the opportunity to learn and practice inserting acupuncture needles in key points along energetic meridians.

  • Cervical self exam and the fundamentals of self help

  • Didactic instruction in menstrual extraction

  • Skills for navigating the post-Roe world 


This class is for warrior women who understand that our rights are given to us by the Goddess, not the state, and who plan to act accordingly. Register here. 

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Wednesday May 24 & Thursday May 25 | 9am-5pm

Make a Backpack! with Sue Pruess

Lifelong basket weaver Sue Pruess started weaving as a Brownie Girl Scout and loves showing
people that they too can weave a basket. In this workshop participants will create a backpack
style basket with a wooden bottom and a custom leather strap. Each basket will be personally
fitted to you and can be adjusted whether wearing over summer clothes or heavy winter coats.
We will start weaving over a mold for a uniform shape and for beginners this is much easier! If
you have never woven but always wanted to, this class is perfect for beginners. Using reed,
soaked ahead of time for softness, each basket will dry to a strong and sturdy, useful part of
your herb gathering supplies. All materials are included and will be prepared ahead of time so participants can focus on weaving and finishing. Register here!

Tropical Leaves

Pre-Conference 3-hour WORKSHOPS


Thursday, May 25, 2023 | 6:30pm-9:30pm

Tree Divination Using the Ancient Celtic Ogham Alphabet with Ellen Evert Hopman

The Irish Ogham tree alphabet pre-dates the Latin alphabet. Instead of letters like A-B-C-D the alphabet uses tree names like Birch, Rowan, Elder, Oak, etc. Each letter of the alphabet is couched in symbolism and lore. Ellen Evert Hopman is the author of A DRUID’S HERBAL OF SACRED TREE MEDICINE, TREE MEDICINE TREE MAGIC and other volumes that explore ancient Celtic tree lore and tree herbalism.

In this workshop, you will learn:

  • Druid tree meditation with live trees

  • The basics of the Ogham letters including the spiritual, medicinal and cultural lore around them

  • Make a small Ogham Tree Divination Deck to take home

  • Practice using the trees to do readings for yourself and others.  


Please bring a notebook and pen. Register here!

Ellen Evert Hopson

Thursday, May 25, 2023 | 6:30pm-9:30pm

Breaking the Spell: Transforming Relationships with Cornelia Cho

Until we take a hard look at the contents of our brain, we remain under the spell of messages that have been fed to us from birth.  This is not through any fault of ours. Especially when we are young, it's our brain's job to absorb vast amounts of information---but we rarely get an explanation of how this affects us and our relationships.  Instead we are told and we eventually decide that this accumulation is "just who you are."  


No, it doesn't have to be who you are!  You don't have to settle. In this workshop, we'll share how to engage the brain's capacity for change.  We'll combine this with the power of connected listening---along with a greater understanding of how each of us became entangled in this web of unexamined messages.  By deciding to uncover the messages and use the power of relationship and caring in the listening partnership platform, we can break the spell these messages have held over our lives---and uncover who we really are.

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Friday, May 26, 2023 | 9am-12pm

Wise Woman Support for Fertility, Pregnancy, Birth and Breastfeeding with Mary Lou Singleton 

If you are an aspiring or practicing birth worker or a woman interested in nurturing herself and the women of her community, this class is for you. Never in human history have women received more professional support for birth and breastfeeding, and never in human history have women had a harder time birthing and breastfeeding. As our culture moves further into the scientific paradigm where a reductionist explanation can be found for every aspect of the human condition, it is unsurprising that fewer and fewer people feel healthy and whole. The solution to this predicament is not more technology, more science or more expertise. We need a return to embracing the healing power of community, nutrition, friendship, and deep relationship with nature.

In this 3-hour workshop, we'll touch on:

  • Pregnancy and birth as templates for the human creative process

  • Preparing the body for pregnancy

  • Conscious conception

  • Welcoming surprise house guests: embracing unintended pregnancy

  • Supporting pregnancy with herbs

  • Preparing for birth

  • Herbal support for birth and immediate postpartum

  • Nourishing the breastfeeding mother.

Register here!

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Friday, May 26, 2023 | 9am-12pm

Formulating From Nature: Methods and Practices with Heather Nic an Fhleisdeir

Whether custom formulating for clients or making general formulas for the public, working with Nature to formulate is a skill most valuable. Explore three methods to design formulas for rapid and targeted effects, incorporating strengthening herbs into a health plan. Learn to use the common, cherished, and useful herbs and what you have available.

In this intensive, we'll:

  • Discover the nature of herbs as well-known friends: their actions, the affinity of herbs, buffering and supportive aspects, herb chemistry, constituents, and nutrients.

  • Explore the nature of health concerns and healthy bodies.

  • Discuss proportions, how to get unpleasant flavors and actions to pleasantly blend, unusual contraindications, Herx reactions, paradoxical and rebound effect considerations.

  • Review the practicality of working in specific and repeatable parts structures. Experience this methodology and structure of Nature formulating and attain new skills in working with Nature to create formulas that transform and heal.


Register today!

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Friday, May 26, 2023 | 9am-12pm

Cooking for the Next Generations: How to Teach and Share Appreciation of Traditional and Nutritious Foods with Elena Terry

Mother and Daughter who founded Wild Bearies speak about the importance of preserving traditional food systems, the advocacy work necessary to protect the foods and will demonstrate how to prepare a couple of dishes in a way that is relatable and memorable. Outdoor cooking and conversation.  Register here!

Friday, May 26, 2023 | 9am-12pm

Sacred Rituals for Healing

with Robin Rose Bennett

Meaningful ritual is vital to our healing and to having a sustained sense of connection and belonging. We’ll dive into an exploration of the essential facets of crafting your own rituals. Learn how to create a safe container for group and solo work, the use of symbol and metaphor, and how the elements and common medicinal, magical plants can help guide us every step of the way. Learn to tune into the invisible world in a grounded way, and you will feel connected to the magic alive in every moment.

Register here!

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Friday, May 26, 2023 | 9am-12pm

The Art of Spellcasting!

with Rev. Judith Laxer

Haven’t we all, at some point, wanted to be powerful enough to cast a spell and change our reality? To brandish magick for pleasing and satisfying results? The truth is we are, and we can. Spellcasting is an ancient and mostly lost art, a compilation of methods used to create the life we want to live. Aligning with the phases of the Moon, engaging our Earthly and Spiritual Allies, and directing energy with ethical intention, spellcasting might just be the most empowering spiritual practice you ever perform. In this workshop, we will learn several techniques, allying with the realm of the Devas using herbs and plants in sacred space, to cast spells for personal power and transformation.

Register here!

Friday, May 26, 2023 | 9am-12pm

Intro to Botanical Cyanotype Photography

with Tonya Lemos

The cyanotype (Prussian-blue image on a white background) also known as ferro-prussiate or blue print process or simply sun prints, was invented and named by Sir John Herschel in 842 and is one of the oldest photographic processes. It was popularized by Anna Atkins, one of a handful of women working in photography in the mid-1800s. It is one of the easiest photographic printing techniques you can do at home without expensive equipment or a photography darkroom.  We will work with the sun as our UV light source, and the sun and weather at the time will determine the intensity and sort of cyanotype prints we produce. The chemicals needed are easy to find and inexpensive (because there are no precious metals involved). 


In this workshop, participants will:

  • Make dry and wet cyanotypes from found plant material

  • Experiment suds and kitchen spices

  • Discuss toning and staining cyanotypes

  • Learn how to print from a negative      


This class would be great for any creative and or plant lover who wants to jump into the world of alternative photographic printing techniques. This is one of the easiest printing techniques for photography. All levels welcome. Register here!

Learn more about the amazing presenters at this year's Midwest Women's Herbal Conference. 
Main Conference Workshops
Discover the 50+ workshops planned for this year's Midwest Women's Herbal Conference.
Work Exchange

Interested in assisting with the Conference in exchange for a registration discount? Join the Work Exchange team!

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